On the east side of the Aegean Sea, there was an elevated region and amidst the densest forest within it was a mountain, known as Mount Nysa. On the outskirts of this sacred mountain, was a sparse village, in which lived a young vibrant girl, named Amethyste. She was gentle, quiet and had a simple life with her grandmother, making earthen pots for the locals. The only thing, other than work, Amethyste did was pray to the Goddess of the Hunt, Artemis… A lesser-known fact about Artemis was that she was the protector of maidens, and this was the reason for Amethyste’s devotion. She had no desire to find a husband… ever. Further, she could find anything she needed within the forest and had no concerns — even if her grandmother passed away — of surviving by herself… This is how she wanted to live, peaceful and alone in the forest.
One night, while looking for mushrooms just before dark, she left a rocky area that she often visited… On the 10-minute walk home, she briskly stepped along the trail, careful to be quiet in case there were hunters around. Typically, it would be better to make noise so as to not be accidentally struck with an arrow, but this wasn’t her concern. The hunters often bothered her. You see, the reality was that she, as her grandmother often told her and despite her efforts to not be so, was beautiful beyond any measure. Enough so that men always tried to speak to her — but not in an aggressive nor degrading way in the slightest. They found her to be much like a goddess, and seemed to respect her innocence, so much so it seemed crass and tasteless to be overly aggressive. If one of them was, the other men in his group would immediately turn on him, spurning the guilty one relentlessly… They did this almost unconsciously. These reactions surprised many of the other women in town who found the rural men, especially after a couple of drinks, to be overly aggressive. They were shocked to see how men treated Amethyste. For this reason, she was often disliked by many of the other women. In fact, she had no friends in town. Although, she did not mind this… As for the men, she would politely listen, but never said anything beyond, “sorry, I must leave” and walked away as soon as she could. This would turn some of the more desirable men into relentless pursuers, which she hated. They were not used to being rejected, and their pride would entice them to be obsessive… But, if she could remain unseen for long enough, they would often give up as most of them had little patience in these matters.
She reached the point where she was halfway home and felt relieved that a new obsessive follower would not harass her tonight. However, it was precisely after this thought when she heard a unique noise. It was a hum at first, barely audible. However, it was no more than 10 seconds later that the hum had transformed into a full-fledged cacophony of cheers, music, and raucous screams.
She increased her pace and hoped to make it through before — whatever it was — crossed her path home. Almost unnaturally fast though, it appeared in front of her. A procession was unlike anything she had ever seen before; there were leopards, birds, minstrels, and forest nymphs, all dancing their way through the trees. The color, noise, and chaotic vibe was too much for her to process, and although it was a joyous procession, she could only view it with terror. From the group, there came a character unlike any other she had ever seen. He had scruffy, purple hair and a staff with a giant acorn on the end of it. Suddenly, the music stopped abruptly before he spoke to her happily and… very drunkenly.
“Hello, noble beauty! Join us! Have a drink!” Dionysus said.
Another creature came forward at this moment; it had a goat’s legs and the body of a human with horns. It, too, spoke flamboyantly…
“Ohhh, very pretty! She needs to join… come, come! The master of the forest has invited you!” The satyr said as it approached her.
This was all too much for her. She had never seen such a creature, and the “master” was clearly a god! She panicked and ran, sprinting in the direction that she came… The satyr simply laughed and told the minstrels to continue to play, and the entire procession continued harmlessly, but Dionysus was stilled with many irritating thoughts: … She ran away from him; after his invitation — and in front of everyone! She misunderstood. He needed to explain… And SHE needed to apologize for her insult.
His insecurity slowly turned into anger. If Dionysus had his wits, he would have known that she was just scared, but in his stubborn drunkenness, he just pursued.
“Where do you think you’re going!? Stop!” He said.
Amethyste let out a scream, so panicked-sounding that Dionysus became even more angered.
“Ah quiet, stop now! I WILL catch you…” Dionysus spoke aggressively.
Unfortunately, Amethyste’s grandmother had told her many stories about the exploits of the Gods with mortal women. She was determined to retain her chastity. The intensity of the pursuit became almost frenzied… When it became apparent that she could not escape, she dropped to her knees and prayed to her beloved Artemis.
“Goddess of the Hunt, most-noble Artemis, protect me now!” She spoke in firm conviction and in an instant, turned into a flawless, clear crystal.
When the transformation happened, he was just about to reach her, and in a moment of frustrated passion, he flung his wine from his goblet onto crystal, turning it a deep, rich purple. It took only a moment, but Dionysus, a mere split-second later, immediately sobered with the understanding of what had just happened… She prayed to Artemis because she thought he was like his father, Zeus. He had no intention in that way… And he felt terrible.
Therefore, he left this beautiful purple crystal alone in her forest, giving it the ability to never be the fool that he just was. This is why, even today, many in Greece use wine goblets made out of the mineral Amethyst — so they will not become too drunk. As for the crystal, Dionysus made sure it was remembered for this, -a meaning “not” and methustos meaning “intoxicate” and forever holding the distinctive, rich color of red wine.